|Born||August 29, 1960|
Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Genres||Instrumental rock, neoclassical metal, progressive metal, heavy metal, hard rock, jazz fusion|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, composer, producer|
|Instruments||Guitar, keyboard, piano|
|Labels||Shrapnel, PolyGram, Favored Nations|
|Associated acts||Planet X, CAB, Steve Vai, Seven the Hardway, Ring of Fire, Vinnie Moore|
Tony MacAlpine (born August 29, 1960) is an American musician and composer. In a career spanning three decades and thirteen studio albums, he is best known as an instrumental rock solo guitarist, although he has worked with many different bands and musicians in guest appearances and collaborations.
Having started playing piano at the age of fiveand guitar at twelve, MacAlpine studied classical piano and violin for a number of years at the Springfield Conservatory of Music in Massachusetts, as well as various music programs at the University of Hartford in Connecticut. One of his musical influences is Frédéric Chopin, to whom he pays homage in his interpretations of the latter's études, which are featured on the majority of his studio albums.
Together with his first studio releases, Edge of Insanity (1986) and Maximum Security (1987), he had a prominent role on other works during the popular shred era, including keyboard performances on the debut albums of fellow guitarists Vinnie Moore ( Mind's Eye , 1986) and Joey Tafolla ( Out of the Sun , 1987). Soon after his own debut, he played guitar in a heavy metal supergroup named M.A.R.S. (an acronym for MacAlpine/Aldridge/Rock/Sarzo), which resulted in the 1986 album Project: Driver .
As part of a band effort named 'MacAlpine', Eyes of the World was released in 1990 as a more commercially oriented attempt to emulate other hard rock acts at the time.The venture was short-lived, and his subsequent album Freedom to Fly (1992) was a return to his instrumental-based work. A further consecutive string of instrumental albums followed throughout the 1990s, most of them through the renowned Shrapnel Records label: Madness (1993), Premonition (1994), Evolution (1995) and Violent Machine (1996). For his last album of the decade, Master of Paradise (1999), MacAlpine briefly assumed singing duties in an effort to experiment with different styles. After the release of Chromaticity in August 2001, he took an extended hiatus from recording solo albums and worked with a variety of other musicians and bands, most notably with supergroups CAB and Ring of Fire. Nearly a decade later, in June 2011, he released his self-titled eleventh studio album through guitarist Steve Vai's Favored Nations label.
In the early to mid-2000s, MacAlpine took on a dual role playing both guitar and keyboards in Vai's touring band The Breed. He is featured on the band's DVD release Live at the Astoria London (2003), along with two DVDs of the G3 tour: G3: Live in Denver (2004) and G3: Live in Tokyo (2005). During that time, he was the guitarist for progressive metal supergroup Planet X, alongside keyboardist Derek Sherinian and drummer Virgil Donati. He played with them for three albums in the first part of the decade— Universe (2000), Live from Oz (2002) and MoonBabies (2002)—and rejoined them in 2009 for a string of live performances, and at that time a possible new album.His most recent collaborations have included Seven the Hardway, a progressive metal group with whom he released their self-titled album in 2010, and a guest appearance on Sherinian's seventh studio album Oceana (2011). In the second half of 2012, MacAlpine toured Europe and Asia as part of PSMS (Portnoy/Sheehan/MacAlpine/Sherinian), an instrumental supergroup. Instrumental Inspirations, a DVD of their live material, was released October 21, 2012. Additionally, in an October 2012 interview, he stated that he was working on new studio material (one of them being a "strictly classical record" recorded solely on piano), as well as a new album with Ring of Fire. Battle of Leningrad, Ring of Fire's fourth studio album, was released on January 28, 2014.
MacAlpine's twelfth studio album, Concrete Gardens , was released on April 21, 2015.
MacAlpine was highly influential in the neoclassical metal genre, becoming known for his instrumental rock style of playing that displays highly advanced shred techniques;one of his most oft-used techniques being 'sweep tapping', a variation of sweep picking. He has incorporated elements of classical, jazz, fusion, hard rock and heavy metal on both guitar and keyboard, and has been described as a virtuoso by Jason Ankeny at AllMusic.
MacAlpine became a prominent user of seven string guitars after joining Planet Xand still plays them regularly, along with eight-string guitars. A long-time endorsee of Carvin guitars (notably the T-Mac and DC series), he switched to Ibanez in 2010. Since 2011 he has played a customized RG Prestige eight-string model with EMG pickups, while his seven- and six-string models use DiMarzios. For amplification, he uses the Hughes & Kettner TriAmp for studio recording and the Coreblade model for live touring. An Ernie Ball wah and volume pedal completes his live setup. A detailed diagram of his 2011 gear can be found at Guitar Geek.
MacAlpine currently resides in Pasadena, California.On August 25, 2015, he posted on his Facebook profile that he may have developed colon cancer, which forced cancellation of some dates on his tour to promote Concrete Gardens. In August 2016 he wrote on his personal website, "I have been feeling back to normal and tests indicate that all is well in medical land. Deep and sincere thanks to you all for your wonderful support through this very difficult last 12 months."
Joseph Satriani is an American rock musician, composer, songwriter, and guitar teacher. Early in his career, Satriani worked as a guitar instructor, with many of his former students achieving fame, such as Steve Vai, Larry LaLonde, Rick Hunolt, Kirk Hammett, Andy Timmons, Charlie Hunter, Kevin Cadogan, and Alex Skolnick; he then went on to have a successful solo music career. He is a 15-time Grammy Award nominee and has sold over 10 million albums, making him the best-selling instrumental rock guitarist of all time.
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Michael Stephen Portnoy is an American musician and songwriter who is the current drummer for the Neal Morse Band and supergroups Flying Colors, Transatlantic, The Winery Dogs, Liquid Tension Experiment, Metal Allegiance and Sons of Apollo. Portnoy is primarily known as the former drummer, backing vocalist, and a co-founder of the progressive metal band Dream Theater. In September 2010, Portnoy announced his departure from Dream Theater after 25 years, with Mike Mangini taking his place as drummer of the band. Since his departure, Portnoy has formed a variety of new bands and projects, including Adrenaline Mob, Flying Colors, The Winery Dogs, Sons of Apollo, Metal Allegiance, and BPMD.
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MoonBabies is the second studio album by instrumental rock/progressive metal supergroup Planet X, released in 2002 through Inside Out Music.
Edge of Insanity is the first studio album by guitarist Tony MacAlpine, released in 1986 through Shrapnel Records. In 2014, nearly thirty years after its release, MacAlpine performed the album in full during a series of shows in California and Baja California.
Evolution is the sixth studio album by guitarist Tony MacAlpine, released on October 10, 1995 through Shrapnel Records.
Violent Machine is the seventh studio album by guitarist Tony MacAlpine, released in 1996 through Metropolis Records and in 1997 through Victor Entertainment (Japan); it was reissued on May 7, 2002 through Lion Music, with the latter featuring different cover art and having apparently been released without the authorization of MacAlpine or Metropolis.
Master of Paradise is the eighth studio album by guitarist Tony MacAlpine, released on November 2, 1999 through Shrapnel Records. This album marks the first time MacAlpine himself sang on any of his releases; only two of the tracks are instrumental.
Concrete Gardens is the eleventh studio album by guitarist Tony MacAlpine, released on April 21, 2015 through Sun Dog Records. The album was first announced by MacAlpine on his official website in October 2013, with more details in February and December 2014. An official release date was announced in March 2015, along with the cover art, different editions of the album, and a U.S. tour schedule. To further promote Concrete Gardens, a series of live studio performances of several songs were filmed for EMGtv, featuring guitarist Nili Brosh, drummer Aquiles Priester and bassist Pete Griffin. Guitarist Jeff Loomis is featured as a guest soloist on "Square Circles".
Sons of Apollo is an American progressive metal supergroup formed in 2017 and composed of drummer Mike Portnoy, bassist Billy Sheehan, keyboardist Derek Sherinian, vocalist Jeff Scott Soto, and guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal.
Psychotic Symphony is the debut studio album by American supergroup Sons of Apollo, released on October 20, 2017. The album was produced by drummer Mike Portnoy and keyboardist Derek Sherinian under the name "The Del Fuvio Brothers", a nickname they adopted during their time together in Dream Theater. All members were involved in the creation of the songs, with Portnoy and Sherinian as the main songwriters. The album was released as CD, digital download, vinyl and a special edition containing a bonus disc with instrumental versions of the songs and an alternate mix of "Opus Maximus". The band began touring to promote the album in early 2018.
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